GIHAN FERNANDO AUTOGRAPHED AWARD WINNING STAGE, TELE, FILM ACTOR, PLAYWRIGHT CUM SINGER IN EFFERVERSCENT VOYAGE UNINTERUPPTED FOR THREE DECADES – By Sunil Thenabadu
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Gihan Adrian Camil Fernando the award-winning acclaimed actor, playwright, comedian, and singer has been highly recognised by those who are passionate about the stage ,mini screen and theatre as a superlative and noble actor for his flamboyance at times witty characters. He portrays any given character so precisely and energetically gripping and embracing all audiences leaving them mesmerized and flabbergasted.
Born on 30th August 1967 hailing initially from his ancestral home in a village Galudapita in Ragama but now resides in Wattala.He is the eldest sibling with two younger sisters and one younger brother other than the parents duo.Mother had unfortunately expired some years back,father is living who had been brought in a proper way.Gihan has followed his father’s conducts and had brought up his three daughters also similarly, two are married had allowed them to select their partners. Gihan was educated at De Mazenod College, Kandana, where he had excelled in studies and shone as a soccer player. After leaving school he had been employed initially for a few years during which period he had studied about theatre under numerous foreign theatre directors through the British Council and other related places. After dropping sports particularly soccer he had developed his noticeable tummy, been somewhat of a chubby person, which is noticeable to many which has never bothered him at all during his prolonged acting career. Initially Gihan has had got the opportunity to portray many characters during his younger days under several directors including the late Somalatha Subasinghe, K. B. Herath, Rajitha Dissanayake, Ravindra Ariyaratne , Dharmapriya Dias etc.
The Silver jubilee of his acting career in theatre, the medium of art which Gihan cherished most, having portrayed in over one hundred dramas was celebrated in a novel manner about five years ago presenting a theatre festival titled ‘Ma Dakina Mama’ from the 30th March to April 04th 2016 . The event was held at the Lionel Wendt Theatre Colombo culminating with a festival dinner. A stand-up show in which he imitated European actors opportunity to meet his fans too was held parallel to the celebrations. The stand-up show consisted of many items including clips from ‘Wattala Giha and Maharagama Kumar’, the popular two-man entertaining show even popular worldwide.
Gihan had selected Ravindra Ariyaratne’s ‘Charitha Horu Aran’, Rajitha Dissanayake’s ‘Sihina Horu Aran’ Ravindra Ariyaratne’s ‘Balloth Ekka Behe’ Priyankara Ratnayake’s ‘Ada Kale Antigone’ and Dharmapriya Dias’s ‘Sadaya Maarai Salli Hamarai’ for the theatre festival. Gihan had won the best actors award in 2015 for ‘Sadaya Maarai Salli Hamarai’. These five dramas were selected from 50 dramas in which Gihan had portrayed varied characters. His 50th drama was ‘361’ which had ran to packed audiences. Gihan stars opposite Umayangana Wickremasinghe in this production. It is directed by Ubesiri Wickremaratne. A few of his other popular stage dramas are ‘Nethuwama Bari Minihek’ , ‘Silgath Billo’, ‘Ada Wage Dawasaka’ and ‘Ahe Malaya’.
Gihan and his colleague Kumara Thirimadura have successfully compiled a joint venture ‘Wattala Giha with Maharagama Kumara’ a dual hilarious concert which has been successfully shown to audiences in overseas countries like USA and European countries too. This show was staged for the Sri Lankan audiences too.. Gihan and Kumara duo sing blending together well at this show. Due to his acting prowess Gihan was invited to act on the mini screen for the teledrama ‘Hiru Kumari’ directed by Nalan Mendis over two decades ago. It was his first teledrama. However, Gihan does not consider television as a form of art. He had admitted that television is merely a business which cannot be classified as a type of art. He had confessed that acting is his vocation, and he cannot be choosy when invited to portray roles in teledramas or films. Gihan had portrayed several vivid roles in films and teledramas which have become ‘hits” with the audiences.
He says that acting in theatre is a satisfying profession. He has no regrets about getting into theatre acting. He had portrayed the roles of other professionals including our politicians in various productions. These had given him immense satisfaction and had won the applause of all audiences .After completing education in school, he had studied about theatre under numerous foreign theatre directors through the British Council while working in a company. In 1998, along with another fellow actor late Asela Jayakoday ,he had undergone training in a workshop conducted by late Jayalal Rohana. Then, both were lucky to act in Rohana’s stage drama, Bhoothawesha. He got the opening opportunity to act in stage roles under late Somalatha Subasinge,KB Herath, Rajitha Dissanayake, Ravindra Ariyaratne and Dharmapriya Dias He won the Best Actor Award at the Youth Drama Festival in 1990 for his role in Royston Jude’s play ‘Rangahala’. Then he acted in Macbeth which was produced by a theatre group formed in Wattala under the banner Wattala ‘Kattiya’.
His maiden television acting came through ‘Hiru Kumari’ directed by Nalan Mendis in 1998. Along with Kumara Thirimadura Gihan engaged in a hilarious stage play ‘Giha Saha Kuma.’ In 2016, he organized a theatre festival titled Ma Dakina Mama to celebrate silver jubilee of his theatre career in theatre. It was held at the Lionel Wendt Theatre Colombo from March 30th to April 4, 2016 ending with a festival dinner and a stand- up show. He also voicing for the radio teledrama Channa Kinnaravi in Hiru FM, and Paradige in RanOne FM. He currently runs an acting school named Hit Act in Bambalapitiya for the new generation. His stage plays includes:Ada Kale AntigoneApahu Enna BaBakamuna Veedi BasiBalloth Ekka BaBalloth Ekka Ba 2, Bhoothawesha, Charithe Horu AranHoru, Samaga Heluwen, Janadipathi Thaththa , Erehiwa MamaMata Wedi Thiyan Nedda,Rahas Udaviya, Raja Man ahala, Rangahala, Saadaya Marai Salli , Horu Aran ,Thunsiya Heta Eka (361), .
Famous tele dramas are Adara WassaAdaraneeya AmmaAganthukaya Aluth GedaraAththammaBath AmmaBattiBonda MeedumDangayanta PamanaiDaskonDhiriya DoniDoo KumariyoHiru KumariHirusanda MaimaIsuru PawuraIthin Eeta PasseKatu Imbula Kiripabalu Vila Kokila Sandwaniya Makara DadayamaMaunayagaya Maya MansalaMindada Muthu Pihatu Nim WalallaNodath Desheka ArumawanthiNonimi Yathra No Parking Paara Pahasara,Peramaga Salakunu Pini Bindu Raja Yogaya Rathi Virathi Sadgunakaraya Sadisi Tharanaya Samanalunta Wedithiyanna ndagalathenna, Sanda Thaniyama, Satakapata, Satya Senehasa Kaviyak Senehase Nimnaya Sillara Samanallu Sooriya Daruwo Sudu Hansayo Thanamalvila Kollek Three-wheel MalliThunpath Ratawaka Lassana Thurya Urumakkarayo Uthum Pathum Varanaya Veeduru Mal Visula Ahasa Yata Wasantha Kusalana Wassana Sihinaya Yakada Kahawa.Presently he is doing a major role in “Sihina Genena Kumariyo which has passed the 300th episode where he plays a comedy role enthralling audiences telecast during weekends. The role portrayed by Gihan is a running very interesting character,
He has won several awards though not many at the local stage drama festivals and television festivals.He had won best actor and supporting actor awards at youth drama festivals, Raigam Tele’e awards. Several reporters and fans have inquired about Gihan’s tummy. He had stated that it is a natural tummy and if any director needs him to act with a reduced tummy, he could oblige within a few months. but for a good fee.Gihan became of a young grandfather at age of 52 years when his elder daughter gave birth to a baby,.There is definitely a lot of acting in store for Gihan who is very active despite his conspicuous tummy which he had admitted not at all a hindrance to his acting..
One of the utmost universal aptitudes of gratifying professional pursued actors is that they play well with others and they are able to make authentic acquaintances with everyone on set. They are profoundly good people, enthusiastic, purpose-driven, and dedicated sans ego. They always grip themselves with elegance and poise, they dare to bring their personalities to every protagonist delegated. One such inimitable actor who had vanquished the stage to an unprecedented elevations, to a lesser extent mini and silver screens with consummate extravagance for over three decades is celebrated actor Gihan Fernando .All his fans and followers would wish him good health and longevity to perform in the same disposition.
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